How Much Do Criminal Lawyers Charge?

The cost of Criminal Defense representation depends on a few important factors:

  • What is the seriousness of the crime you are being accused of? For example, is it a Misdemeanor or a Felony? If it is a Felony, what is the maximum penalty under the law? Generally, the higher the stakes, the higher the cost. 
  • At what point in the criminal case timeline is your case presently? For example, is it at the Pre-File Investigation stage, Arraignment stage, Pre-Trial, Preliminary Hearing, Trial, or Post-Conviction stage? 
  • What County/Court is your case being heard in? For example, is your case being heard in a local courthouse that the prospective attorney already visits on a regular basis or is it being heard in a distant courthouse that would require the attorney to dedicate his/her entire day to your case?
  • Are you able to pay in full or do you require a payment plan? Some attorneys provide a worthwhile discount if clients are able to pay in full.
  • Are you a Veteran or member of the U.S. Military? Some attorneys provide a worthwhile discount if you are. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION at (714) 510-2221. We will walk you through your case and provide an analysis and fee quote with no obligation. We proudly serve Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County on a regular basis and are willing to take on cases in other counties throughout California. We also provide pay-in-full incentives and Military discounts. 

DUI Reduction: Exhibition of Speed

If you’ve been charged with Driving Under the Influence in the state of California, you’re looking at some serious penalties. However, with an experienced attorney by your side, some—maybe even all—of these penalties can be avoided. One method used is to bargain for reduced charges, such as the California Vehicle Code §23109 charge of Exhibition of Speed.

WHAT IS ‘EXHIBITION OF SPEED’?

According to §23109 VC, “Exhibition of Speed” is basically the legal term for an illegal street race in which a motor vehicle races against another motor vehicle or even an electronic device such as a clock.

COMPARING THE PENALTIES FOR EXHIBITION OF SPEED VS. DUI

It is important to bear in mind that an Exhibition of Speed charge is still a misdemeanor, and as such, comes with its own list of penalties. However, as rough as those penalties may be, they are still only half as bad as the penalties you may be facing with a DUI charge:

Apart from the two most notable differences in County Jail Time and the Fine Amounts, the differences in Probation Periods and Priorability make an Exhibition of Speed conviction worth pursuing over a DUI.

For example, a common rule when you are on probation is that you are not allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system. If you were to violate this rule, you will be said to have violated probation, and as a result may face more jail time, fines, and may even have to re-start your entire probation period all over again.   

Likewise, having a prior DUI conviction on your record means that a second DUI charge within a 10-year period will result in much harsher penalties than the first time around, such as up to 1-year in county jail, 3-5 years of probation, and a 2-year suspension of your driver’s license.

Furthermore, there are plenty of other hassles that can be avoided by reducing your DUI charge to an Exhibition of Speed charge. Some examples include:

  •      Having your driver’s license suspended
  •      Having to complete a DUI program
  •      Having to install an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle

DOES MY CASE QUALIFY FOR REDUCTION?

There are a number of different factors that come into play when determining the likelihood of reducing your DUI charge, but the most important is whether or not the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you of the DUI as it stands.

Our skilled attorneys make it a point to check and double-check the results of your blood or breath sample and make sure the devices used were properly calibrated at the time of your arrest. Furthermore, during our free sit-down consultation session we will hear your side of the story starting from the moments leading up to your arrest to make sure that it was legally valid and that all of your Constitutional rights were respected. 

DUI Reduction: Dry Reckless

If you’ve been charged with Driving Under the Influence in the state of California, you’re looking at some serious penalties. However, with an experienced attorney by your side, some—maybe even all—of these penalties can be avoided. One method used is to bargain for reduced charges, such as a Dry Reckless.

WHAT IS A ‘DRY RECKLESS’ CHARGE?

A “Dry Reckless” is another way of saying “reckless driving.” So what defines “reckless driving”? According to Vehicle Code §23103, a person is guilty of reckless driving if they drove a vehicle in “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This basically means that you knew that the manner in which you were driving your vehicle was unsafe, either to other people or their property, and yet you did it anyway.

COMPARING THE PENALTIES FOR “DRY RECKLESS” VS. DUI

It is important to bear in mind that a Dry Reckless charge is still a misdemeanor, and as such, comes with its own list of penalties. However, as rough as those penalties may be, they are still not as bad as the penalties you may be facing with a DUI charge:

Apart from the two most notable differences in County Jail Time and the Fine Amounts, the differences in Probation Periods, Mandatory License Suspension Periods, and Priorability make a Dry Reckless conviction worth pursuing over a DUI.

For example, a common rule when you are on probation is that you are not allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system. If you were to violate this rule, you will be said to have violated probation, and as a result may face more jail time, fines, and may even have to re-start your entire probation period all over again.   

Likewise, having a prior DUI conviction on your record means that a second DUI charge within a 10-year period will result in much harsher penalties than the first time around, such as up to 1-year in county jail, 3-4 years of probation, a 2-year suspension of your driver’s license, and 18 months of alcohol education classes. If you’re facing a second or third DUI conviction, pleading to a Dry Reckless is a great alternative.

Another benefit of a Dry Reckless is that it will not necessarily cause your insurance premium to increase or be cancelled. The same cannot be said about a DUI conviction or even a Wet Reckless.

DOES MY CASE QUALIFY FOR REDUCTION?

 There are a number of different factors that come into play when determining the likelihood of reducing your DUI charge, but the most important is whether or not the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you of the DUI as it stands.

Our skilled attorneys make it a point to check and double-check the results of your blood or breath sample and make sure the devices used were properly calibrated at the time of your arrest. Furthermore, during our free sit-down consultation session we will hear your side of the story starting from the moments leading up to your arrest to make sure that it was legally valid and that all of your Constitutional rights were respected.

The second most important factor is how close your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is to the legal limit of 0.08%. Typically, prosecutors are more willing to offer a Dry Reckless when the defendant is between a 0.08% and a 0.1% — the higher your BAC, the less forgiving the prosecutor.

The third most important factor is your criminal record. If you have a “clean” record with no prior run-ins with the law, the prosecutor is more likely to look favorably upon your case. 

Is Your Citizenship Status At Risk Because of An Arrest?

California is known for its year-round sunny skies and world-leading industries such as the entertainment industry in Hollywood and the tech industry in Silicon Valley. It’s no surprise then that an estimated 10 million immigrants reside here—more than any other state in the nation. However, the allure of California is a double-edged sword for immigrants—the state takes a no-nonsense approach to crimes committed by non-citizens. Ultimately, this means that conviction of certain crimes can result in your deportation.

IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES FOR LEGAL ALIENS

A “Legal Alien” is the classification given to an immigrant who entered into the U.S. with express permission by the United States government. Within this category are Legal Permanent Residents (also known as “Green Card Holders”), Visa holders, and Asylees/Refugees.

Regardless of the sub-category, a Legal Alien is subject to the decisions of Immigration Court, which is separate from the Criminal Court. For example, if you are convicted of certain crimes in Criminal Court, the Immigration Court may rule to deport you, which is why it’s so important to have a criminal defense attorney that can prevent the conviction in the first place. The following is a list of offenses for which an immigration judge may choose to deport you:

A.    Aggravated Felonies

8 USC § 1101(a)(43) defines aggravated felonies as those crimes that are punishable by a jail sentence of at least one calendar year (365 days). Conviction of an aggravated felony brings the most severe punishments possible under immigration laws. The conviction causes deportability and moreover bars eligibility for almost any kind of relief or waiver that would stop the deportation. Common examples include:

·      Burglary

·      Fraud

·      Murder

·      Rape

·      Theft

B.    Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude

8 USC §1227(a)(2)(A)(i) states that a noncitizen is deportable for just one conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude if she committed the offense within five (5) years of her last “admission” into the United States, and if the offense carries a potential sentence of one year. Classification of a crime involving moral turpitude is based on the elements of the offense, not the facts of the case. Generally, an offense involves moral turpitude if it contains elements of:

·      Fraud

·      Theft

·      Intent to cause great bodily harm

·      Lewdness

·      Recklessness; or

·      Malice

C.   Drug Offenses

Under 8 USC § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i), conviction of any offense “relating to” controlled substances, or attempt or conspiracy to commit such an offense, may cause deportability. Furthermore, 8 USC § 1101(a)(43)(B) states that a controlled substance offense can be an aggravated felony if:

·      It is an offense that meets the general definition of trafficking, such as sale or possession for sale; or

·      For immigration purposes, if it is a California non-trafficking offense that is comparable to certain federal felony drug offenses, such as simple possession, cultivation, or some prescription offenses.

D.   Domestic Violence/Child Abuse

According to 8 USC § 1227(a)(2)(E), a “crime of domestic violence” is a violent crime committed against a person with whom the defendant has a certain kind of domestic relationship. A noncitizen is deportable if, after admission to the U.S., he is convicted of:

·      A state or federal “crime of domestic violence”

·      Stalking

·      Child Abuse

·      Neglect; or

·      Abandonment.

Furthermore, the person is also deportable if found in civil or criminal court to have violated certain sections of a domestic violence protective order.

E.    Firearms Offenses

Under 8 USC § 1227(a)(C), a noncitizen is deportable if at any time after admission into the U.S. he is “convicted under any law of purchasing, selling, offering for sale, exchanging, using, owning, possessing or carrying or of attempting or conspiring to [commit these acts] in violation of any law, any weapon, part or accessory which is a firearm or destructive device…” This means that even possession of an unregistered weapon can trigger deportability. Furthermore, a firearm offense can also count as an aggravated felony if it involves trafficking. 

Everything You Need to Know About Expunging Your Conviction

Having a criminal conviction on your record will likely lead to a number of uncomfortable situations, especially when applying for a job or filling out housing applications. Thankfully, there is a legal solution to this problem and the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Neeraj D. Singh can help.

WHAT IS EXPUNGEMENT?

California Penal Code §1203.4—California’s expungement statute—was enacted to help ease the transition from being “in the system” to resuming your life as a member of society without having to suffer from the bad reputation associated with being a “criminal.” This means when you are asked in a private job interview if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can confidently answer “No” without worrying about your past coming back to haunt you.

However, there are three situations in which you will be required to answer the above question honestly:

1. If you are running for public office; or

2. If you are applying for a license granted by any state or local agency; or

3. If you are applying to work for the California Lottery commission.

HOW DOES EXPUNGEMENT WORK?

Without getting too technical, expungement allows the judge to set aside your plea or conviction so that you can replace it with a plea of “Not Guilty.” Once this new plea is entered, the judge will then dismiss your case. Despite its effect, expungement does not actually remove all traces of the charges from your record. Instead, expungement results in the charges remaining publicly visible but the conviction—the finding of your guilt or innocence—being removed.

However, as mentioned earlier, there are situations in which your original conviction can still be viewed by the government, and so you are required to answer truthfully when in those situations.

DO I QUALIFY FOR EXPUNGEMENT?

According to 1203.4 PC, anybody who has committed either a felony or a misdemeanor for the first time, and who has not served any prison time, is eligible for expungement. Additionally, in order for expungement to be granted, one of the following must be true:

1.  The offender must have either fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation or be discharged before the termination of the period of probation; or

2. The court, in using its discretion, determines that the offender should be granted this type of relief.

In other words, if you completed all the terms of your probation, your conviction will very likely be expunged. Even if you did violate probation, you may still qualify for expungement depending on the court’s assessment of various factors such as your criminal history, the seriousness of the underlying conviction, and any other evidence that may demonstrate to the court why you deserve to be granted such relief. In either of these scenarios, it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer by your side.

WHAT IF I’M ON PROBATION RIGHT NOW?

California Penal Code Section 1203.3 gives the court discretion to terminate your probation early:

"The court shall have authority at any time during the term of probation to revoke, modify, or change its order...the court may [end probation] at any time when the ends of justice will be [served]."

To get your probation terminated early, it must be shown to the court that you have "reformed" and that you have been on good behavior. Typically, this can be done by:

a.     Showing that you have not picked up any new cases;

b.     Verifying that you have fulfilled all conditions of your probation thus far; and

c.     Providing the court with character letters that you can get from family and friends.

Criminal Threats - Penal Code 422

Criminal threats are taken very seriously by prosecutors in the state of California. With the advent of laws against cyber-stalking and zero tolerance policies against "cyber-bullying" in schools and colleges, prosecutors take these cases extremely seriously. Accordingly, §422 of the California Penal Code makes it illegal to make criminal threats.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A CRIMINAL THREAT?

According to CPC §422, there are three necessary elements of a criminal threat (listed below). Each one will need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecutor in order to convict you.

1.     First and foremost, you must have threatened to kill or cause great bodily injury to another person. This is the most basic requirement of the charge.

2.     Next, the threat made must be so “unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific” as to cause the person who has been threatened to be placed in a state of reasonably sustained fear for his/her own safety or for his/her immediate family’s safety.

3.     Lastly, the threat must have actually been communicated either verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device such as a computer or cell phone.

It is also important to note that you can be convicted of making criminal threats even if you did not have the ability to carry out the threat! Moreover, you can be convicted even if it was an empty threat in that you did not actually intend on carrying out the threat! That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced attorney by your side to know what defenses will and will not work.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR MAKING A CRIMINAL THREAT?

CPC §422 is considered a “wobbler” meaning that it can either be filed as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the circumstances.

For example, if you are convicted of a misdemeanor criminal threat, you face up to one year in county jail. Alternatively, if you are convicted of a felony criminal threat, you face up to four years in a state prison. In addition, the use of a dangerous or deadly weapon may increase your sentence by up to one year.

On top of everything mentioned above, a criminal threat conviction also counts as a strike under California’s Three-Strikes law. 

Child Endangerment - Penal Code 273(a)

Child endangerment, otherwise known commonly as child abuse, is criminalized by California Penal Code section 273(a).  These cases are prosecuted vigorously and, although they can be filed as misdemeanors, prosecutors often file these cases as felonies.

A felony child endangerment conviction can land you in the California State Prison for up to six (6) years.  Other penalties include lengthy felony (formal) probation, a fine of up to $10,000 and a possible “Strike” on your criminal record. Given these possible consequences, you will want the best legal defense available.

What Does the Prosecution Need to Prove?

You can be convicted of child endangerment if you willfully inflicted unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on a child or allowed another person to do so, allow the child (or his or her health) to suffer injury or if your allowed or caused the child to be in a situation where his or her health or body may be in danger.  However, criminal negligence can also result in prosecution for this crime. 


Corporal Injury on the Spouse - Penal Code 273.5

If you have been charged with violating California Penal Code §273.5, it is important that you understand the parameters of the charge and the gravity of your situation. In times like this, an experienced defense attorney can be crucial in helping you receive the best possible result.

CORPORAL INJURY PENALTIES

 Corporal Injury on the Spouse [273.5 PC] is California’s primary domestic violence law and, as such, can result in a variety severe punishments including fines, loss of gun ownership rights, jail or prison time, and even deportation if you are a legal alien.

Depending on your criminal history, the punishment can be more severe. For example, if you have been convicted of a similar offense within the past 7 years, you could serve up to 5 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. This does not mean a first-time conviction is a mere slap on the wrist—even a first-time conviction can result in up to 4 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $6,000.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR CORPORAL INJURY CHARGE

In order for you to be found guilty, the prosecutor must first prove you actually committed the crime as laid out in California Penal Code §273.5. This means they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you inflicted physical injury upon either:

(a) your current or former spouse;

(b) your current or former cohabitant (i.e., a roommate); or

(c) the mother or father of your child.

In addition, the prosecutor must prove that you willfully inflicted the injury and that the injury resulted in a “traumatic condition.” In order for an act to be considered “willful” you must have intended to commit the act that resulted in the corporal injury, which does not necessarily mean that you intended to commit the corporal injury itself. This is a nuanced area of law that, again, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to work to your advantage. According to the law, a “traumatic condition” is “a condition of the body, such as a wound, or external or internal injury…whether of a minor or serious nature.”[i] In other words, any injury that is apparent or can be detected by examination will suffice—even something as slight as a scratch or a bruise.

 

[i] http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=270-273.75

 

Arson - Penal Code 451/452

If you have been charged with violating California Penal Codes §451 or §452, it is important that you understand the parameters of the charge and the gravity of your situation. In times like this, an experienced defense attorney can be crucial in helping you receive the best possible result.

WHAT IS ARSON?

Arson can be defined as outlined in any of the following three categories:

A.   §451 defines arson as the “willful and malicious” burning of the property of another. This means that in order to be found guilty, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you both:

1.     Intended to do the act that burned the property; and

2.     Intended to defraud, annoy, or injure another person, or merely intend to do a wrongful act.

B.    §452 adds “recklessness” as a substitute for the “willful and malicious” requirement of §451. This means that the prosecutor can—instead of proving that your actions were willful and malicious—try and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you both:

1.     Knew there was a substantial likelihood that your actions would cause someone else’s property to burn; and

2.     You consciously made the decision to carry on with your actions anyway.  

C.    As you have probably noticed, both §451 and §452 include the burning of someone else’s property. However, one can still be found guilty of arson for burning his own property if the purpose was fraudulent (as in the case of attempting to collect insurance proceeds), or if the fire injures another person or her property.

 ARSON PENALTIES

Arson is a serious charge and, as such, can result in a variety severe punishments including fines, jail or prison time, and may even require registration as an arson offender for the rest of your life.

There are a number of different factors that come into play when determining your sentence such as the type of property at issue, whether or not someone was injured, and whether you set the fire deliberately. Additionally, your criminal record of past convictions can enhance the sentence. For example, if you are convicted of arson and have a prior arson conviction from within the past 10 years, you may actually face life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Accessory After the Fact - PC 32

An "Accessory After the Fact" is a person who assists a perpetrator after s/he has committed a felony by aiding in their escape from arrest, conviction, and/or punishment. 

This crime may be categorized as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. As a misdemeanor, a conviction may result in 1 year in county jail. As a felony, a conviction may result in a county jail sentence of 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years. 

Robbery - Penal Code 211

Robbery is defined as the taking of personal property from another's person or immediate presence, against their will, by use of force or fear of force. Robberies can be categorized as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. 

First Degree Robbery

First Degree Robbery occurs when:

  • The victim is a driver or passenger on a public transport or taxi
  • The victim is someone who just used an ATM
  • The robbery took place in an inhabited structure, such as a home 

The penalties for First Degree Robbery include a state prison sentence of 3-9 years. 

Second Degree Robbery

Second Degree Robbery occurs in any other circumstances apart from those categorized as First Degree Robbery. Penalties for Second Degree Robbery include 2, 3, or 5 years in state prison. 

Identity Theft - PC 530.5

Identity Theft is defined as the taking of another person's personal identifying information for use in an unlawful or fraudulent manner. Common examples include: 

  • Using someone else's credit card without their consent
  • Using someone else's social security number
  • Using someone else's name in order to escape liability for yourself

Identity Theft can be categorized as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances and damage caused. As a misdemeanor, a conviction for Identity Theft may result in up to 1 year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. As a felony, a conviction may result in up to 3 years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000. 

Petty Theft - Penal Code 484(a) & 488

Petty Theft is defined as the unlawful taking of property valued at $950 or less. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be charged with one of the many forms of Petty Theft, such as theft by fraud and theft by embezzlement. 

Theft by Fraud

Theft by Fraud occurs when a person uses fraud or deceit to obtain possession to money, labor, or personal property. In order to convict you of this offense, the prosecution must prove:

  1. You obtained property you knew was obtained by someone else;
  2. The property owner allowed you to use or possess the property because you used fraud or deceit;
  3. When you obtained the property, you intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or to remove it from the owner's possession for such a long period of time that the owner would have been deprived of significant value of the property;
  4. You kept the property for any length of time; and 
  5. The property owner did not intend to give up ownership of the property

Example: John asks his neighbor to borrow his $600 lawnmower for a day, but John actually intends to keep it forever. 

Theft by Embezzlement

Theft by Embezzlement occurs when a person, who in their capacity as an employee, takes property (usually money) that they have been legally entrusted with. Therefore, in this situation the victim is the person's employer. Penalties for misdemeanor Theft by Embezzlement ($950 or less) may include up to 1 year in county jail, in addition to a fine of up to $1,000. Penalties for felony Theft by Embezzlement ($951+) may include up to 3 years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000. 

Example: Mary, who works at an expensive shoe store, is entrusted with a shipment of 50 pairs of shoes. Mary decides that her boss won't notice if one of those pairs goes missing and therefore takes one. 

Burglary - Penal Code 459

Burglary is defined as entering any residential (First Degree) or commercial building (Second Degree) or room with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein. 

First Degree Burglary

First Degree Burglary is categorized as a felony and occurs when the subject of the burglary is a person's home. The penalties for First Degree Burglary include a state prison sentence of 2, 4, or 6 years. 

Second Degree Burglary

Second Degree Burglary can be categorized as either a misdemeanor or a felony (depending on the circumstances) and occurs when the subject of the burglary is anything other than a person's home, such as a business.

As a misdemeanor, the penalties for Second Degree Burglary includes a maximum sentence of 1 year in county jail. As a felony, the penalties escalate to 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years. 

Common Defenses to Burglary

  • You had no intent to commit a felony or theft when you entered the property
  • You mistakenly believed the property to be your own
  • You believed the items that you took from the property belonged to you

 

Drug Possession for Sale - Health & Safety Code 11351

California Health & Safety Code § 11351 states that it is a felony to possess narcotics with the intent to sell them. 

What Drugs are Covered under H&S § 11351?

  • Cocaine
  • Heroine
  • LSD
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ecstacy
  • MDMA ("Molly")
  • Some prescription medications without a valid prescription
  • Mostly any other illegal narcotic other than Marijuana

What Does the Prosecution Need to Prove?

In order for the prosecution to convict a defendant under H&S § 11351, they must first establish that the accused had the intent to sell. A few common ways in which this can be done is to show that you possessed: 

  • A large quantity of drugs
  • Baggies and scales
  • A large amount of cash
  • Weapons

What Are the Penalties for Conviction?

According to H&S § 11351, a conviction for possession with intent to sell may result in 2-4 years in county jail, as well as a maximum fine of $20,000. 

Marijuana Possession for Sale - Health & Safety Code 11359

Possession of Marijuana with the intent to sell is categorized as a felony that is punishable by at least 16 months in jail. However, in order to convict a defendant under H&S § 11359, the prosecution must first establish that the accused had the intent to sell. A few common ways in which this can be done is to show that you possessed: 

  • A large quantity of marijuana
  • Baggies and scales
  • A large amount of cash
  • Weapons

Marijuana "Simple" Possession - Health & Safety Code 11357

Although California is one of many that has legalized marijuana for medical use, it is still currently illegal to use it recreationally. Health & Safety Code 11357 outlines the marijuana possession rules and states that without any aggravating circumstances (as outlined in the chart below), "Simple Possession" of less than an ounce of marijuana is merely an infraction and will subject a defendant to only a $100 fine with no jail time. 

 

 

DUI Reduction: Wet Reckless

If you’ve been charged with Driving Under the Influence in the state of California, you’re looking at some serious penalties. However, with an experienced attorney by your side, some—maybe even all—of these penalties can be avoided. One method used is to bargain for reduced charges, such as a Wet Reckless.

WHAT IS A ‘WET RECKLESS’ CHARGE?

A “Wet Reckless” is not necessarily what it sounds like in that you need not actually have been driving visibly recklessly for the charge to apply. Basically, a Wet Reckless means that you were “reckless” in your decision to drive with a blood alcohol content of more than .08 OR while under the influence of drugs. 

COMPARING THE PENALTIES FOR “WET RECKLESS” VS. DUI

It is important to bear in mind that a Wet Reckless charge is still a misdemeanor, and as such, comes with its own list of penalties. However, as rough as those penalties may be, they are still not as bad as the penalties you may be facing with a DUI charge:

 

Apart from the two most notable differences in County Jail Time and the Fine Amounts, the differences in Probation Periods and Mandatory License Suspension Periods make a Wet Reckless conviction worth pursuing over a DUI.

For example, a common rule when you are on probation is that you are not allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system. If you were to violate this rule, you will be said to have violated probation, and as a result may face more jail time, fines, and may even have to re-start your entire probation period all over again.   

Likewise, having a prior DUI conviction on your record means that a second DUI charge within a 10-year period will result in much harsher penalties than the first time around, such as up to 1-year in county jail, 3-4 years of probation, a 2-year suspension of your driver’s license, and 18 months of alcohol education classes. If you’re facing a second or third DUI offense, the benefits of pleading to a Wet Reckless greatly outweigh the disadvantages.

And, yes, there are disadvantages…but here’s the good news: they aren’t any worse than the disadvantages associated with a DUI conviction.

DOES MY CASE QUALIFY FOR REDUCTION?

There are a number of different factors that come into play when determining the likelihood of reducing your DUI charge, but the most important is whether or not the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you of the DUI as it stands.

Our skilled attorneys make it a point to check and double-check the results of your blood or breath sample and make sure the devices used were properly calibrated at the time of your arrest. Furthermore, during our free sit-down consultation session we will hear your side of the story starting from the moments leading up to your arrest to make sure that it was legally valid and that all of your Constitutional rights were respected.

The second most important factor is how close your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is to the legal limit of 0.08%. Typically, prosecutors are more willing to offer a Wet Reckless when the defendant is between a 0.08% and a 0.1% — the higher your BAC, the less forgiving the prosecutor.

The third most important factor is your criminal record. If you have a “clean” record with no prior run-ins with the law, the prosecutor is more likely to look favorably upon your case.  

HOW NEERAJ D. SINGH, ESQ. CAN HELP

If you’ve been charged with DUI, the Law Office of Neeraj D. Singh can help. With hundreds of DUI cases under his belt, Neeraj Singh can help get your DUI charges reduced.

We know you’re ready to put your past behind you and get your life back on track and we’re ready to do what needs to be done in order to help make that happen.

Call us today at (714) 510-2221 for a free consultation.